TWIH: Ernie Hine’s Caps

This week Club Historian John Hutchinson takes a break from his weekly blog to report on a remarkable visit to King Power Stadium by the family of one of Leicester City’s all-time great players.

Ernie Hine is one of the great names in Leicester City’s history. During his seven seasons at Filbert Street, between 1926 and 1932, he scored 156 goals. This made him the third highest scorer in the Club’s history. He played in the Leicester City side which came within a point of winning the League title in 1929, and, whilst at Filbert Street, he won six England caps, scoring four goals.

On Saturday, Ernie’s grandaughter Rosemary Walker, her husband John, their daughter and son-in-law Kimberley and Mark Broadhead, and their children, Connor, Markus and Allister, were the Club’s guests for the match against Barnsley. They had travelled down from Yorkshire for the occasion.


Before the match, Rosemary handed to me two valuable caps won by Ernie. One was his England cap won against Wales in November 1931. The other was a cap awarded to him for his participation in the FA Tour to Canada in the summer of 1931.

These are very precious and valuable mementos. The family have very kindly loaned these to the Club. They will go on display at the Stadium, reminding us all about what a great player Ernie Hine was.

Rosemary is also going to loan to the Club the itinerary for the 1931 FA Canadian Tour. In addition, Mark is sending us rare film footage of Ernie training and playing for Barnsley, before he was transferred to Leicester City in 1926.


Rosemary and John have also provided many photographs of Ernie from the family’s albums. These are now on the Club’s Digital Archive.

As well as these physical mementoes of Ernie’s career, the family also provided a lot of memories. When I visited them in their home near Huddersfield earlier this year, Rosemary told me:

 “My grandfather used to keep his caps, which he won as a Leicester player, wrapped in tissue paper in a little suitcase. I used to play with them when I was little. At school, I used to brag about grandad playing for England and nobody believed me!


“He was only 18 when he got married. His father was a lamp man (lighting the gas lamps in the streets and knocking on windows to wake people up at the same time).  Before he became a professional footballer for Barnsley, Ernie was a ‘trammer’ working down the coal mine moving the tubs of coal.

“Barnsley was the first club he played for. He started and ended his career there. He ran a pub whilst a player at Barnsley. My grandma ran it single handed when he went to Leicester. He still had it when he finished his playing career back at Barnsley. It was unusual for a player to run a pub but Ernie was scoring goals for Barnsley  and the Club Directors and the Oakwell Brewery Directors probably got together to keep him sweet. The pub was called the ‘Butchers’ Arms’ at Monk Bretton, the area he came from. It is now boarded up and will become a Sikh temple.


“When he finished playing altogether he did not keep the pub. He came over here (near Huddersfield) and worked in the Meltham Brickworks. He also coached the West Riding League side Meltham FC in the 1940s and 50s.

“Everybody knew him in Meltham. He couldn’t go to the shops without everyone speaking to him.There weren’t many England internationals in Meltham! He was a really nice man. Everybody liked him.

“When he was at Leicester, he was very friendly with fellow England international Hughie Adcock who had also been a miner.”

The Club was very privileged to meet Ernie’s family last weekend and we are delighted to have been able to re-establish a contact which had been lost for many decades.

Pics:

1. Ernie Hine in his Leicester City heyday.

2. Wearing their England caps and shirts, Ernie (right) is pictured alongside his Leicester City and England team mate, Hughie Adcock.

3. Ernie’s England cap for the game against Wales in 1931.

4. Ernie with the captains before the kick-off in a match between Barnsley and Leicester in the early 1950s.


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